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Legendary Portugal striker Eusebio dies


WORLD CUP great Eusebio has died at the age of 71, according to Portuguese media reports.

Top scorer at the 1966 Finals in England, the iconic Portugal striker was often considered one of the game’s best ever players to have graced the football pitch.

Reports coming out of Portugal say that Eusebio, who scored 733 goals in 745 competitive games over his entire career, passed away early today (Jan 5) after suffering from heart failure.

State news station RTP quoted the legendary player’s biographer Joao Malheiro as saying: “Having followed his life close up and on a daily basis, I was a witness to his health having become very fragile and there were clear signs of this in recent years.

IN PRIME: Eusebio during the 1966 World Cup in England (PA)

“At the moment though this isn't the most important thing, what's most important is to remember the man who was, and always will be, in the place of the immortals of this country and was clearly of emblematic importance for Portuguese in the 20th century, above all during the 1960s when Portugal lived under a dictatorship.”

In 2004, Eusebio was voted the seventh best European footballer to have played the sport.

Before his famous exploits with the national team at the 1966 World Cup, he won the European Cup with Benfica in 1962 and claimed the title of European Footballer of the Year in 1965.

Eusebio also won 64 caps for Portugal, bagging 41 goals in the process, and managed to help his club side win 10 Portuguese league titles.

Writing a tribute to the late legend on Twitter, Portugal and Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo said: “Always eternal, Eusebio, rest in peace.”

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